Hammer Names: 'Athlon Pro 64' is the One
By Mario Rodrigues

Date: April 15, 2002

Much has been said about the possible names that AMD may use to christen its next generation Hammer products. The names that I've seen to date just don't seem suitable. That changed today after a visit to Ace's Hardware. On their message board, Johan De Gelas, Senior Editor at Ace's Hardware, came up with the perfect name, 'Athlon Pro 64', and then explained his reasoning:

Athlon, to leverage the existing marketing investments, Pro to underline that it is going to make it in the professional market, and 64 to underline that it is the first 64 bit x86 processor.

When I first saw this name, it hit me like a thunderbolt. I knew that this should be the name for Hammer. I hope that those individuals at AMD who are responsible for choosing the Hammer product names will give this one serious consideration. This name has everything. 'Athlon' signifies its very successful lineage and heritage. 'Pro' signals its progress from Athlon, and more importantly the P4. '64' fully differentiates itself from the P4. For the common consumer, 64-bit is going to look and sound allot better than 32-bit, even though Hammer is fully compatible with the 32-bit instruction set.

Imagine this scenario: John Simpleton visits his local Best Buy to buy a new computer. The sales guy shows him two competing systems. John asks how the AMD Athlon Pro 64 is different from the Intel P4. The sales guy said it's cheaper, it runs all current software faster, and it can support 64-bit operating systems, so it's future proofed. What else does John Simpleton need to be told? He gets out his checkbook and buys the Athlon Pro 64 PC. Game, set and match to AMD.

AMDZone is currently running a poll on the possible names that AMD may use, and the inquirer has recently concluded one on this subject as well. The names in the AMDZone poll are shown below:


I hope AMD is not serious about using any of the above names, they're dead ducks. If they are, they're going to have to have an out of this world marketing campaign to make any of these names a success.

Having slept on this subject, I came up with my own system of names that are based on Johan's suggestion:

Athlon Pro 64 M         - M indicates mobile
Athlon Pro 64 XP
Athlon Pro 64 MP
Athlon Pro 64 Server - for four-way servers and up

The above list maintains that essential link to the Athlon name and the family relationship that is vital for product branding. This also makes them much easier to market than a new unknown name. The XP and MP nomenclature is maintained, Athlon 4 is dropped and M (for mobile) and Server are added. These names look clean and sophisticated, they also have that top to bottom simplicity. In addition, they have that next generation appearance and sound that sets them apart from Athlon. It sounds so universal as well. Marketing these names should be a breeze.

Athlon Pro 64 has tremendous presence; it also resonates as being right.

Come on AMD, what are you waiting for?